Today's got a bunch of those little stories that require just a little of my trademark know-it-all snark. Let's begin...
SETH GOES OSCAR.
Seth Macfarlane, the man behind Family Guy and the lowbrow hit movie Ted has been tapped to host the 85th Academy Awards.
Expect show-tune based bits and segues that consist of "That me reminds me of the time--" then a cut to a clip from the nominee with an offensive visual gag tacked on.
Also expect it to be criticized as a horrible disappointment.
You see hosting the Academy Awards has gone from being an honor, to a no-win situation.
It doesn't matter how many calories he burns, how funny his jokes are, and how smoothly he handles the duties of a host, critics are going to lambaste him.
The whole show went from Hollywood honoring the biggest, best, and brightest work of the year, to a multi-hour long slog honoring a lot of movies that most people haven't seen, because they were made solely for Academy voters in the hope that a win will give them a "bump" at the box office that will help them break even, but it rarely pays off.
|Cheap excuse for an Anne Hathaway pic.|
Most critics of the show know this, at least on a subconscious lizard-brain level, but they aren't going to admit it. So they take out their frustrations on the host.
Sure, there have been some duds in the hosting department in the past 20+ years. Chris Rock was too obnoxious, Jon Stewart was too smug, Anne Hathaway tried but didn't have much to work with, and her co-host James Franco might as well not shown up, and whenever they use talk-show hosts they try to turn it into their talk shows.
I survived Letterman's hosting gig.
But put those aside, even those who do a decent, competent job usually get condemned as "forgettable" for not being a memorable disaster.
My advice to Mr. Macfarlane, forget the critics, just do the best you can and know that they won't tell you if it was a success or a failure.
OPRAH GOES TYLER
The perpetually struggling Oprah Winfrey Network has just inked a multi-year deal for Atlanta based media mogul Tyler Perry to create and produce 2 scripted TV shows for them.
Now on the surface this may look like a good deal, but there are complications.
1. Tyler Perry is a one man factory of movies and TV shows targeting the African-American audience and he's made Oprah-level money doing it.
2. Oprah Winfrey and OWN's traditional target audience has been white middle-aged middle class women.
3. Those two audiences may not mesh. African-Americans may not look to OWN for entertainment, and white middle class middle aged women may not dig on Tyler Perry's style of comedy.
4. Tyler Perry has a good track record for making money, but a lousy record at letting the writers of his TV shows make money. This forced him into making a deal with the WGA to avoid some serious business trouble that could have been easily avoided with a little magnanimity. Writers he hires for these shows will only be working out of desperation and will not bring their "A Game" to any future project. Also all the unions will be watching him and his productions like a hawk, which will whittle away his usual capability to work cheaply.
Will it turn out to be a hit, or a massive miss like the Rosie O'Donnell talk show? We will have to see.
I'm surprised, I've been griping about the project since I first heard about it, and assumed NBC's management would just bulldog forward in keeping with the network's dedication to crappy programming.